Ep 129: The Various Meanings of Motherhood with Dr. Camille Hammond from the Cade Foundation
Fertility Forward Episode 129:
On the show today, we discuss the various meanings of motherhood with our special guest, Dr. Camille Hammond. Dr. Hammond is the Founder and CEO of the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, otherwise known as The Cade Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote awareness of infertility and serve the needs of families struggling with infertility. They provide educational resources and financial assistance to help them grow their families. Join the conversation as Dr. Hammond candidly shares her personal infertility journey and the incredible story of her mother's offer to be a gestational carrier for her triplets. We explore the impact of social media in shedding light on less-discussed topics like infertility and delve into the founding of the Tinina Q Cade Foundation. Discover the Cade Foundation grants for families seeking support and gain insights into the diverse paths to parenthood and the empowering concept that you can define the word "mother" on your own terms. Don’t miss out on this insightful episode, so press play now.
Rena: Hi everyone. We are Rena and Dara, and welcome to Fertility Forward. We are part of the wellness team at RMA of New York, a fertility clinic affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Our Fertility Forward podcast brings together advice from medical professionals, mental health specialists, wellness experts, and patients because knowledge is power and you are your own best advocate.
Dara: Today we will be discussing the various meanings of motherhood with Dr. Camille Hammond, who is the founder and CEO of the Tanina Q. Cade Foundation, which is also known as The Cade Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote awareness of infertility and serve the needs of families struggling with infertility by providing educational resources and financial assistance for helping them grow their families. Dr. Camille, thank you so much for coming today. I'm really excited to chat with you.
Dr. Hammond: Thanks for having me on. It's a real pleasure to be here.
Dara: You have quite the story of coming into this space, so please share with our listeners kind of your, how you came into creating this foundation back in 2005.
Dr. Hammond: Well, I'm gonna take you a little bit farther back. So let's go back to 1993. Yeah. That's gone deep, deep into history. Many people listening to this probably weren't even born at that point. So I was a freshman at the University of Richmond, just starting, and was having excruciating belly pain and heavy bleeding and ended up going to the hospital and was diagnosed at that time with stage four endometriosis.
Dara: Oh, wow.
Dr. Hammond: So endometriosis is an important cause of infertility, but that diagnosis started me on this pathway toward The Cade Foundation. Fast forward a few years, I met the love of my life and we decided we wanted to build our family, and we started on our wedding night, and about a year later as our anniversary gift, we started seeing the fertility doctor. And for the next five years we continued to see the fertility doctor as, as we had insurance. Thankfully, we lived in a state where there is a mandate and insurance was provided by my job as a medical student and also as a resident. I, I had insurance through the institutions that I was training through. And so we had fertility treatment and I never got pregnant. And after that last cycle, the doctor said, you're out of money and you're out of insurance. And I don't believe that if you take out loans to do the same thing, you're necessarily gonna have a different result. So you may need to switch your pathway.
Dr. Hammond: And we were devastated because we were still in our twenties at this point. And had never gotten pregnant despite over a hundred thousand dollars in fertility treatment and years of crying and praying and hoping. So we talked to my parents about where we were and my mom and dad asked if my mom could carry a baby for us. My mom was healthy, but she was post-menopausal. And we were young physicians and we knew a lot, but we had never heard about a woman carrying a baby who was postmenopausal let alone a woman carrying her grandchild. But my parents saw it on 60 minutes, so it must be possible.
Dara: I was gonna ask you like, how did, how did your mother come up with that?
Dr. Hammond: Right! They saw it on tv. So, you know, everything we see on TV is real, right? Not! But we did. We initially said, no, but thank you. And my parents were very persistent and after a lot of prayer and a lot of conversation, we moved forward just to see what her doctors would say. And my mom was very healthy, and so they said, we don't think a pregnancy will kill her, but we can't really say much beyond this because there weren't a lot of examples out there of women who got pregnant after they were postmenopausal. They had gone through the change of life. And so we moved forward and about not too long after that, my mom conceived our triplets.
Dr. Hammond: Who are now 18 years old. Yes.
Dara: That 2004? FIve? Right, right before the foundation was created?
Dr. Hammond: Exactly. So our children were…
Dara: 18 years old now?
Dr. Hammond: they're 18 years old now. Exactly. So I'm an empty nester, but our kids were born in 2004. So we were going through this in the late 1990s, early two thousands.
Dara: That's a a, a long journey.
Dr. Hammond: It's a long journey. So I definitely understand and remember what it feels like to want to be a mom and have that be so important. And honestly not feel comfortable talking about it to, to just live in that kind of shame and feel like something's wrong with me. Something's broken with me that so many women who have infertility feel. I can tell you right now, I was wrong. Nothing was wrong with me, me, nothing was broken about me. Nothing's wrong with you, nothing's broken about you. This is medical and medical things happen. Yeah. But thankfully there we live in a day where it's not taboo to talk about having infertility. You can talk about it. You can pick up any newspaper or magazine and somebody's talking about this person had a gestational carrier, you know, this person is doing this treatment, and oh, they just did IVF, and, or they adopted or whatever family plan they want. They're definitely is not as much stigma today at least at a societal level. But I think at an individual level, people still feel a lot of shame. People are still struggling.
Dara: I think, you know, you brought something to light. I was thinking, you know, 'cause we, we often think, okay, social media, there's a, there, you know, it could be really toxic and it can be really toxic. But I do feel like with more reality shows, and Instagram, and TikTok and all that, it has brought a lot of attention to some areas that were kind of shunned and not spoken about before. I think it, it has brought light to a new avenue of people being more open, maybe feeling more safe, maybe because they're still behind a camera and not in person or, or who knows! Or maybe just it, it's great to see spokespeople who are, are bringing to attention and bringing light to some things that in the past would've been kept secret.
Dr. Hammond: Absolutely. Absolutely. So that is kind of my story and my connection with this cause. After we were so abundantly blessed with these beautiful, almost perfect babies, we decided we needed to give back. And I say we, because my husband is my partner, even though I run the foundation, he has been my absolute rock and in terms of making this possible, financially, and also supporting all of our work. And so I'm really grateful to have a partner that is a real partner. But we, we decided we needed to give back. And the way that we thought it would be best would be to raise $10,000 and give it out to one family. And we thought that's how we pay it forward. Well, we received so much support that first year that we were able to support three families.
Dr. Hammond: And, you know, we've continued to do that work. We have supported, at this point 178 families with up to $10,000 each throughout the country to help them build their families. And we have supported every imaginable type of family with every imaginable cause of infertility. And so that is what the Cade foundation, that's the history, that's the genesis story and also what we do. We support families and help families overcome infertility with information support. We do a lot of education with through conferences and all through and also online, and we give out money. And so that's what Cade does.
Dara: I mean, it, it's, so, I I love hearing stories such as this in terms of, you know, we, we've gone through so much and now we're on the other side per se, and we want to help people behind us who are potentially going through something similar. And I love the fact that it, you know, you had the great intention of helping one and it really snowballed and to, to helping so many other people. And so how, you know, before we kind of delve deeper into, you know, the discussion on motherhood, how do people who, you know, who are interested in being the receivers or the recipients, how, you know, what, what's the process for them if they're interested?
Dr. Hammond: So the grants are available online 24/7, 365. You can actually go to our website right now, cadefoundation.org. C-A-D-E foundation.org and click on grants to learn about what the grant is, what it covers, what it doesn't cover, how to apply. We do have a physician portion. So you do have to get a letter from your doctor saying that you have infertility and giving the, their prognosis and the likelihood of success for whatever your family building plan is. And that's it! It's so
Dara: Anywhere in the US?
Dr. Hammond: Anywhere in the US as long as you are a legal permanent US resident. And you don't even have to be on the mainland. You can be, you know, in some of the, the territories we have funded families. One family I'm thinking of from Guam, I know we funded a few years ago. So as long as you're here and you are, you fit those descriptions, you are infertile and you are a legal permanent US resident, you are eligible to apply.
Dara: Wow. That's, that's remarkable. It's, it's, it's great to know that, you know, people are getting support. There, there's, I feel a lot of people feel helpless in, in this situation. And it's nice to know that not only, you know, is there potential monetary support, but also, you know, I I, I checked out your website and it's great to see how many resources that you offer. Really, you, you do, it's a great one stop shop for people to really, you know, kind of delve deep into the world of infertility and how they can get support in terms of educational materials. I love your coffee, Coffee with Cade, just to kind of delve deeper into those topics that, that people really wanna learn about.
Dr. Hammond: Absolutely. I think the way that we deal with infertility, the way that we overcome infertility is not having a child. Because everybody doesn't walk away from this journey with a child. That's just the truth. And everybody's plan doesn't go the way that it started. So you, you think, I'm gonna, I'm gonna be here for a year. I'm gonna do x, y, and z and, and this is what my outcomes are gonna be. Life doesn't always follow the plan. But, you can overcome by getting to a place of peace wherever you end up on your, your journey. And that may involve you bringing home a baby. It may involve an older child. It may be that you at some point decide, I wanna live child free. Like, that is child-free by choice. And that's a legitimate option. So we just want everyone to get the information that they need to make the best decisions for their family. And that's, that's what our focus is as far as the education at Cade Foundation. And that's how everyone can overcome infertility.
Dara: Yeah. Yeah, you make a good point that there's, there's various ways of supporting people and, and I think a, a lot of it also is, is coming to recognize that there are various ways, you know, to look at motherhood. There's not just, you know, the typical way and, and it doesn't look the same for everyone. And I mean, for you specifically, and I, I kind of wanna, if you're, you're open to it, I'm, I'm really curious to see, you know, when your children were born, how did you, did, did you speak to them in terms about how they came to be? Was it something that you spoke about early on and, and kind of how did that come about?
Dr. Hammond: We showed our kids pictures of my mom pregnant, and we told them the story of how mommy couldn't get pregnant and so Granny carried them and her belly until they were ready, and then she gave them to mommy and daddy. This was before they were even verbal. We started showing the pictures and, and telling them their story, their genesis story, so that they would be proud of the way that their, our family was built and they came to, to be here. Children, they don't ascribe good or bad feelings to history. They just accept what you tell them as truth. And truth is always normal, right? So you might think, man, my, my story is really not traditional. My kids will be ashamed. No, they won't. They actually won't care unless you make it abnormal. Unless you make them feel like there's something wrong with the way that they came to exist. So we told them early and we told them often. And so my kids grew up just thinking, this is how it happens. I, I mean, I remember once they were in pre-kindergarten, or this was when they were at Goddard. So this was before kindergarten. Yeah. This was pre-kindergarten and it was a show and tell. And they took a picture of my mom pregnant. And you know, they asked their friends, did your granny carry you too? I mean, it was just such a normal part of their worldview and, you know, their experience that they just thought other, this happened to us, it might have happened to other people too. So I thought that that was beautiful. And they have continued to embrace their story as just their story. Beautiful.
Dara: And I'm sure it, it's opened up, you know, discussion whether theirfriends or their family of, of, you know, with questions and, and the fact that you normalized it from the get go, I'm sure made it much easier for them, you know, as they got older and they came to realize there are various ways, I'm sure it was something for them that didn't seem so different, because again, it was something that was normalized from the get go.
Dr. Hammond: That's correct. And so one of the messages today for the people who are listening to this is, your story is beautiful and unique, and you don't need to be ashamed, but please, regardless to how you are processing your story, don't, don't transfer any shame to your child or to your children because they're not gonna, they're not bringing the judgment and the idea about what should happen and what shouldn't happen, that perhaps your peers or some of your family, they're, they're not bringing that to the table. All they're bringing is love and knowing that my parents love me, or my parent loves me, and I got here because of love. And so they will accept whatever you tell them is truth and is beautiful. So don't make it something other than that.
Dara: I think we can learn so much from children, you know, in terms of how, how simple their minds are up until a certain age when there is, you know, when, when things do become more, you know, when we take in what other people say. But I think when you, that innocence and, and the, you know, kids take things for what they are. And that's why I do think it's, it's so important to be open and honest or as honest as, or, or as open as you feel comfortable with, but the, the notion of not bringing the shame or the, or the judgment into it. And it's something that as adults we can learn too. That, that it, it's, when you tell your truth, it's beautiful.
Dr. Hammond: It's beautiful.
Dr. Hammond: And it’s enough. You don’t have to add or subtract.
Dara: You don't need any explanation. You could just say it as it is.
Dr. Hammond: Exactly. Exactly.
Dara: Have your children, have your, any of your children decided that they also wanna follow this path in terms medicine or in terms of fertility realm that they wanna pass down?
Dr. Hammond: No, my kids are college freshman and they're to figure out how to get to the dining hall before it closes. You know, they're doing regular college freshman things and, but we are, my husband and I are incredibly proud of the humans that they have grown into. They're compassionate, they're thoughtful. They care about those who are less advantaged, which has always been a priority in our home. Not to just think about what's good for me, but also what's good for we, you know, the, the larger we. And so they're great kids and they're doing exactly what they should do, be doing right now at this age. But, you know, we talked about motherhood before. My pathway to motherhood was, for some, non-traditional. Having my mom carry my babies. I know that some people have questioned, you know, do, do you really feel like they're your children? A hundred percent, absolutely. They are my children. And so a question that I have asked people who've come to me, challenged by different pathways to parenthood. Okay. So, you know, we, we've, we've talked a little bit about IVF using your own eggs, but then there's IVF using your eggs and a different person's womb. But then what about if you're using someone else's eggs? Or what about if there are no eggs and you have to, I guess that would also be using someone else's eggs. So there are a lot of different ways to build your family. And the old concept of what is a mother, I think has come to mean different things for different people. You know, in some families, a mother is the person who nurtures, but that doesn't necessarily align with the gender of the person who is providing the nurturing. My suggestion is be open to the way life naturally happens. And, and when I say naturally happens, I don't mean you have to be able to get pregnant without any kind of support. I mean, let the role be defined by what happens in your household instead of trying to say, well, this is what mom has to mean because you're just setting yourself up to be disappointed if you don't fit into that really narrow definition. If I was waiting to, to get pregnant to feel like a mother, I would've wasted the last, I don't know, 25 years of my life 'cause I've never been pregnant. But I'm a proud mom of three incredible people, and I am absolutely a hundred percent their mom. I think they would agree. So, you know, I'd love, I'd love to hear your thoughts about that.
Dara: You know, I, I think it's, i, I love at this day and age, and especially, you know, being in the thick of this field as well. Well, I, I've met so many, you know, such a wide variety of patients going through, each person goes through their own unique path, you know, in this fertility journey. And it, I've, I've, I've seen it almost, almost all of it. And I'm sure I haven't seen it all, and I'm sure there's more ways that I will be seeing it in the future, but I I'm with you too. I, I think the, the, the hardest part, and that's why I think it's so important to have these open discussions, is that whether it's something we've been taught as a child, and I think, again, that's why I think it's so great those, these discussions now, but, you know, I I think sometimes people plant a seed intentionally or unintentionally of what a family should look like. What a mother's role should look like. And, you know, the, the problem with believing other people's viewpoint is it may be somewhat limiting. And, you know, a lot of times we often think, you know, especially with someone that we admire, a teacher who told us, a parent, a grandparent, a friend, you know, you know, I, I read a book, The Four Agreements, they talk about domestications and domestications are the things that we learn and we pick up over time from people around us that we really admire. And whether it's right or wrong, even though I'm not sure if I like the term right or wrong, we believe it and we believe it to be true. And, you know, oftentimes when we're young, we don't always question things. And I think it's great in this day and age that we really are questioning if something doesn't feel right or something doesn't feel right, it's great to ask questions. It's great to inquire. It's, it's okay to say, I don't know if I agree with that. And, and really, I, I think having these discussions and bringing it to people's attentions that even though this is the way you were taught or this is what you were told, doesn't necessarily make it true for you.
Dr. Hammond: Correct.
Dara: And, and so I think that's, that's really an important thing to kind of realize that, you know, when people often teach things to us, I don't think people have the ill will of, you know, they're doing what they think is, is the best for you, but it's not necessarily what's right or the best for you. So I do think it, it's great to question and to, you know, and, and to be taught and to be open-minded. I, I think a lot of times we wanna be right. This is the way I was taught, this is the way I heard it, this is the way it has to be. And I, I, I do think, you know, in order for us to, to grow in this world and really to, to, I think to be more connected with each other is to be open-minded to new ideas and to new ways of thinking of things. Like, when I heard your story, I really was like, wow, I've never heard a story like this. It's pretty remarkable. And what's pretty remarkable is was back then! I could, I could hear something like that now, but like your mother, I mean, what a blessing that she came up with this. And good for you also to be like, okay, I gotta sit with this for a little bit. Not sure what I think about this, but just having that opportunity of, of an, of an option of, of a choice that probably most people would never even have heard of.
Dr. Hammond: Correct. Correct. So…
Dara: I think your, your mother led that foundation for you to, to open up yourself and to be open-minded to different things.
Dr. Hammond: My mom is my shero and she's absolutely the example of womanhood. She's my kind of role model for what it looks like to mother a child or children, to lead… I mean, to do all of these great things. I think that right now we have the opportunity to take words that have had meaning traditionally, that had one meeting traditionally. But to up, to redefine them for ourselves in ways that make sense. And this is what you just said. So just because I'm the mother, I am the mother, that doesn't mean I have to do X, Y, and Z and that doesn't mean that I can't do A, B and C. My goodness, people call Beyonce mother that are not related to her. And I don't think that they're looking at her as a provider of food or, or
Dara: Mother role
Dr. Hammond: Correct. Correct. They're given their own definition. And I, I think it's beautiful, you know, for whatever person in your life serves that role for you. So for me, a mother is love. So, you know, that may not be the person that kisses the booboos. That might be the person that you can talk to when you feel low and that makes you feel better about yourself. Meaning, you know, there are a lot of, a lot of different ways that I think you can redefine motherhood so that it has meaning for you. But it is a word that has been a part of our, our culture and a part of our language And so I think it's good if you can define it for yourself, but don't feel like you have to throw it away because I don't fit in that, that traditional role. So I can't be a mother. No, you, you absolutely can. If you decide you want to, you just have to find a new way to mother that makes sense for your family
Dara: And also makes sense for your family at that moment in time. And I, I, so you made a good point is you may see it one way, but to be open, if that definition at some point doesn't, you know, suit you and you need to evolve and change, change that, or add to it or subtract from it.
Dr. Hammond: Absolutely. And I, I know that feels very relative, but life has always been relative. You know, it's just us that we decided everything is black and white. But nature exists in shades of gray. I, I don't see much absolute black or absolute white in nature. I see shades, I see blending. And I think that we've gotta figure out how to follow that example just to make ourselves, to be a little bit more gentle with ourselves and to make it a little bit easier to thrive on this planet and our families and our communities.
Dara: I love that. Being more gentle to ourselves. I do think that, yeah, we, we can be super tough and especially when I think a lot of times we have certain visions of how we want things to be, and usually life doesn't take us down that path.
Dr. Hammond: No.
Dara: And so, you know, learning to, you know, adapt and, and grow and also to recognize that…and, and I think it's hard when you're going through it. And I can understand now, you know, with, and you see with age comes wisdom, you see, you know, grandparents, there's so much wisdom. I understand that, that sometimes you need a little bit of space to look back and see and see how all, you know that the path, your path had a purpose. Yes. When you're going through it, you may not see it, but…you know, I think, I love the word faith, the idea of having faith, faith really, you know, I, I think there's hope, there's, there's optimism even in the things that don't necessarily make sense at the time.
Dr. Hammond: No, I, I completely agree. And I was gonna say that's where my faith came in. When I was devastated about another failed IVF or another month of pregnancy where I thought I had to experience symptoms, you know, I had to rely on my faith and, you know, that was actually what helped me get through. But now I have what some might call a testimony where I can share and encourage you and even though you may not have the same challenges that I have, you may be encouraged a little bit or inspired a little bit to just not give up on yourself because you can say, okay, well it worked out for her, so maybe it'll work out for me.
Dara: Yeah. To give people hope. And I really do, you know, I also have my fertility story, my fertility journey and it's, I do feel like it's so meaningful to, to help people who are kind of in your wake going through whatever they're going through. Granted, I'm sure everyone has their own unique experience, but, you know, it's, I think the more people who are able to share, who feel comfortable sharing their experiences and stories, really can help people going through their, their own journeys. And it's just so wonderful that, look, look at, you've had this experience way back when and you are still building and growing this foundation into something incredible. And I wanted to ask you also, so alongside the grants, you also provide some resources. Do you wanna share with, with our listeners some of the things that they can find on your site or on your…?
Dr. Hammond: So we, we if you go to first and foremost, money. A lot of people say, well, I can't, none of this makes sense if I can't, if I can't afford it. Cade does have a grant of up to $10,000 per family. And we fund around 10 to 15 families a year. But we also have information about another 40 or 50 organizations that give out grants.
Dara: Oh, that's great.
Dr. Hammond: So if you go cadefoundation.org/resources, you can learn about those other organizations that may have different rules, different criteria, but that may be very helpful to you in your, in your journey. So that's number one. Number two, information. What I have found in looking at, you know, almost two decades of grant applications is most of the people that actually apply can afford the treatment. They may not think they can afford it, but if they, and one of the reasons why we ask people to actually give a household budget is for them to look at their money, where it's coming from and how it's being used. Because when people see, oh, I'm actually spending $1,000 a month on entertainment, that's, that may trigger you to say, wait a minute, I can cut out the movies, I can cut my cable, I can do things for a year and actually be able to self-fund a whole IVF cycle on my own without any kind of support. That's something that people, also, what I've found is people that are in partnerships sometimes don't know about the other partner's money.
Dr. Hammond: So you may know what you spend, but you know, when you add up your Starbucks and your partners,
Dara: I was just gonna say Starbucks. You can cut down, cut out Starbucks for a year.
Dr. Hammond: I'm, you know, that seems like a, a basic thing, but for some people it's like, that's my happy place. That's where I can go to have somebody else serve me. And, and to forget about. But when you and your partner start talking and start to strategize together, you may find that with little bit of sweat equity, a little bit of cutting back as a family, you're able to move forward and get that thing that is so important to you. So the budget is actually more for the grant applicants than it is for us. It's just, we can't say, you know, we're giving you this, we're making you do this. So you look at it and you self-reflect. That, that's something that you're supposed to do and say, wait a minute, I didn't realize when I added up all of these things, you know, we, we have this much extra money a month that we could actually save if we cut out this, that, and the other. I mean mean, and I don't know. It could be that the people that are truly unable to, to self-finance are not applying for grants and that we're, we're kind of getting a selection bias. So the people that have the most are more likely to ask? That could be an issue. But what I have found in looking at decade, almost two decades of applications is if people look really hard at what they have. And then if people are willing to make small adjustments, so that may mean, Hey, I'm gonna pick up a part-time job at Target. Because if you work 20 hours at Target, you get give fertility coverage. If you work 20 hours at Starbucks, you get $25,000. It doesn't matter if you're single, married, your orientation…You could use it for gestational carrier. Like, this is $25,000 that can be used for whatever you want. Amazon. So if I'm willing to, to be inconvenienced a little bit for a short period of time, I can get so much for that. So sometimes people just don't know. And, and that's why the information is so important so that they can know. They can know that they can go to their employer and say, Hey, this thing is so important to me. I would love for you to add fertility to our benefits package during open enrollment. And the employer may say, you know what? You're a great employee. I wanna retain you. I'm gonna go ahead and add that 'cause it's not gonna add that much to my bottom line. And it would be harder to replace you than to just give you this thing that is important. Sometimes people don't have the words to ask those questions. And so that's part of why the education piece is so important 'cause It's not always a money issue. Even though people think it's a money issue, it's not always a money issue. Sometimes there are other, other supports that can get you where you need to go independent of the money.
Dara: That's great that you, you give people tools and ideas and support to help them move forward in their journey. And it's great. And I think also your, your Instagram's stories are also very informative. I think you have really interesting topics to share with people. Your coffee, your coffee talks also are, are other great avenues to bring up different ideas and topics in this field.
Dr. Hammond: Thank you. I love Coffee with Cade. I, I'm not the person that does most of them now. We have a couple of people that rotate and that that host most of the time. But it's an important way that we are able to connect with people online. I know that people are online. They may take a quick, you know, five minutes when they need a break to scroll through their Instagram. Coffee with Cade usually happens around the lunch hour. It's short. It's 15 minutes. So it's short enough for you to actually watch the whole episode during your midday break if you take one. And then we keep it up on, on our platform so that you could come back and see it. And we do talk about things that people may not already be talking about. I know a couple weeks ago we had a session about sickle cell which is an important cause of infertility. Almost everybody who lives to adulthood with sickle cell is infertile as a result of the medications and the disease process. That's something that people outside of the sickle cell community may not be aware of, but it's something that they need to know. And, and people who have sickle cell certainly need support. This past week we talked about PCOS. And a couple days ago
Dara: I heard that one. Yeah!
Dr. Hammond: Yeah, PCOS is really important because people throw around the term very casually, but most people don't really know what it is. They think, well, I have a little bit of, you know, hair on my upper lip and I have PCOS. There are very clear diagnostic criteria, and it's important to get diagnosed so that you can get treated appropriately. And infertility is not the only outcome that you need to be concerned about when it comes to PCOS. So being diagnosed and supported is really important for your life, not just your family building. So we, we take, we talk about things that people are talking about, but we always try and have a little bit of a, a different perspective that we are considering as we're looking at that at that topic.
Dara: I, I think it's incredible that you're, you're disseminating information, you're pro, you're providing support and guidance. You're, yeah. You're bringing to people's attention, certain topics or ideas that maybe weren't even on their radar. So you're really kind of giving them a wide variety of, of that support, of that guidance. And it's, it just, I really, I always admire people who have been through so much and still give back. So really, we're, we're so grateful to you, to the community, to the foundation, the fact that you're honoring your mother in the name of the foundation. It's so beautiful. And I'm really excited to see where the foundation goes and how it continues to grow and evolve. And we'd love to have you back on in the future to share with our listeners kind of where, where the foundation takes you. But before we leave, I would love to, we, we always end our podcasts with words of gratitude. So Dr. Camille, what are you grateful for at this very moment?
Dr. Hammond: I am grateful for my right mind. I think that mental health is health and health is wealth. And I'm grateful that I woken up this morning and I woke up in my, in my right mind, and I'm able to make good choices for myself. So….
Dara: That's a new one. And that's really beautiful. Something that I, I don't necessarily think about or I take for granted! So that's, that's, you know, a, a, a beautiful one. I, after having this discussion about motherhood, I'm grateful for my mother and for what she's taught me and what she's brought to me and, you know, is a great example of how I wanna mother my children. And also, you know, I, I believe that we choose our parents, you know, before we come, you know, before we're, we're born, we get to choose, you know, we get to choose our mothers. And so I'm grateful for my choice! My mother and, really, you know, everyone has their own path and experience towards potential motherhood. And it's your unique path and it's something that's beautiful and something that should be honored. And really, I'm so thrilled to have met you and for you to be part of this community. Thank you so much.
Dr. Hammond: Thank you. Thank you. It's been great connecting with you. I'm grateful to your mother, grateful to my mother, all mothers, mother, special people. And I, I'm grateful for the opportunity to share here today. So thank you for having me, and I look forward to reconnecting at some point in the future.
Dara: Likewise. Thanks so much.
Dara: Thank you so much for listening today and always remember: practice gratitude, give a little love to someone else and yourself, and remember - you are not alone. Find us on Instagram @fertility_forward and if you're looking for more support, visit us at www.rmany.com and tune in next week for more Fertility Forward.